Ingredient of the Month: Turmeric
You may have seen this strange little root at the grocery store or be familiar with the golden yellow powdered version in the spice section, but did you know that it’s far more important than its small role as a flavoring in curry?
Turmeric (Curcuma longa), a member of the ginger family, is a culinary spice that spans cultures and has been used in China, India and the Middle East for thousands of years as a spice and medicinal herb. Traditionally called Indian saffron, “turmeric” is derived from the Persian word for "saffron," because of its deep yellow color, it has been used as a condiment, textile dye, and health remedy. It's loaded with essential minerals, including magnesium, potassium, and calcium. It's also an excellent source of fiber, vitamin B6 and zinc, and contains healthy amounts of vitamin C and magnesium. Evidence is accumulating that this brightly colored relative of ginger is a promising disease-preventive agent as well, probably due largely to its anti-inflammatory action.
Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, has scientifically proven, powerful anti-inflammatory effects. While it is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream, consumption of black pepper with it can enhance the absorption of curcumin by up to 2,000%. If you’ve been a daily user of Fire Cider for a few years you may have noticed that black pepper was added as an ingredient in 2016 for just this reason!
It's actually unclear whether it was first used for its peppery flavor and the unique kick it lends to foods, and while it’s been part of the Western diet since the 13th century, its popularity has been increasing only recently. You could make sure you get your daily turmeric solely through supplements but we’re big proponents of eating your way to daily health and it’s way more fun and enjoyable to get the good stuff in delicious foods.
We added ground, fresh turmeric to our morning smoothie for a delicious way to start the day! Here’s How we did it!
1 orange, peel, seeds, and pith removed
1 carrot, scrubbed and chopped into 1” pieces
1 frozen champagne mango (you could use ½ a standard mango)
½ C fresh squeezed citrus juice (or liquid of your choice)
1” nub of fresh ginger peeled and grated
2” root of turmeric peeled and grated
Splash of Fire Cider to taste
1. We used a small bullet blender and placed the carrot, orange and citrus juice in first to help break down the carrots, then we added the remaining ingredients and blended until we hit a consistency we liked.
2. Freezing your mango helps give a bit of body to the smoothie, you can make it even thicker by freezing your orange and by adding ice.